04 January 2011

Sort of like a gratitude journal except with screaming.

Have I ever mentioned I live in a teensy, tiny house? Eight hundred square feet, to be exact. That's big enough for a skinny living room that doesn't fit a couch, a bedroom where mold likes to grow that doesn't have a closet, a giant closet that belongs to my husband's clothes and my shoes that you enter through a crooked wall, a little bedroom which holds the computer and Gustavo's secret lair and where guests fear to tread, a teensy bathroom with exactly enough room for one person to turn around with their arms pinned to their sides taking very tiny steps, and a kitchen that is useful for people who enjoy takeout and do not cook.

It is really easy to fill it up with crap. And for the last few days, I had a hoarders freakout and started removing items by the armload into the garage and my car and into the arms of confused friends.

My neighbor across the street saw me coming with a box of books and hid.

The garage weeps as it starts to feel claustrophobic and bloated from all these boxes and sacks and stacks.

I cried when I got to the jeans shelf. I don't have a closet. My clothes live in a cabinet and the jeans have their own shelf. A shelf full of jeans that managed to all get too small. They were all close personal friends.

But I'm ruthless. And now own like 2 pairs of pants.

I thought I would give the shorts a chance and didn't decimate their shelf. It's too cold. Maybe there's a glimmer of hope for personal training to go into effect and spare their ranks by the time shorts weather rolls around.

There is still way more to do, but at least there are open patches of floor now. That revealed themselves to be covered in filth. And dirt. And tumbleweeds of hair. Causing a filth freakout, right there on the edge of the hoarder one. So I went into a vacuuming frenzy, hoping this didn't end with me taking apart walls and ceilings. That has happened before. I own several saws.

Vacuuming at my house is a touchy subject with the dogs. They all have weird relationships with the vacuum cleaner. When Ruby first met it, she wanted to kill it. She'd charge at it and bite it and generally made it impossible to vacuum. So I taught her to go sit on a footstool and wait for the end and she'd get a treat. Which is what she still does, religiously. Vacuum comes out, up Ruby goes, and does her little tap dancing thing until it goes back into the closet and I go get her a cookie.

Gustavo thinks the vacuum is the devil and gets so freaked out by it he can't even go hide in his lair. But he has to keep an eye on it without it seeing him. He's horrified, but he manages to do secret squirrel surveillance from under the table or in a windowsill. While me and the vacuum move around the house, he follows us and dashes from hiding spot to hiding spot as fast as he can. Did you see that movie about the guys that detonate bombs in Iraq? And they dash about and hide behind things? Like that.

It might be he's worried about Otterpop. That she'll explode when she touches it. Because Otterpop likes the vacuum. You can even vacuum her if you want. She's so weird. She goes where the vacuum goes. She just likes vacuuming. Too bad her roombas are all in dead, beeping roomba mode. They were her friends.

I can't say that my house is exactly clean and minimal, but at least today it doesn't make me hyperventilate when I walk in and see the piles. Also I cut Gustavo's hair. Did some running dogwalks. And ate a salad. And used folders. I don't know if any of this will help us be champions, but hopefully it helps me not lay on the filthy floor and scream. For this, we are all grateful.


Anonymous said...

uncluttered house = uncluttered mind, leaving plenty of room for championness. and easier to vacuum without the piles.

Amanda said...

For the same price you paid for your 800 sf in California, you could probably get 8000 sf here in the Midwest. Where there is LOTS of dog agility!

And the sun has been shining here for two days now.

Just sayin'.

Robin Sallie said...

Too funny! I just wear blinders so I don't see the dog hair and clutter.